Our global administration offices in Copenhagen recently welcomed a dynamic, young humanitarian to the team. Let’s get to know Camilla a bit better!
Growing up in Denmark, Camilla moved to France, with her family, when she was 15. Here she attended high school and got her International Baccalaureate. “In Lyon my keen interest in art grew into including street art and graffiti, and my passion for dance was a great way to meet and befriend the locals,” she says.
Spending over three years in an international community as a teen was in many ways the starting point of Camilla’s life as a global citizen. “After graduation my friends dispersed across the globe to different universities. I went to visit them all – a true privilege, and a wonderful opportunity to see the world,” she says.
After a gap year spent travelling, Camilla moved back to Denmark to attend university. Throughout her studies, she continued travelling. “During my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Psychology, I went on exchange to Hong Kong for a semester,” she explains. “And during my Master’s degree in International Development Studies, I did an internship and research for my thesis in Uganda – where I wrote about the access to sexual health and rights of the Ugandan youth, and its impact on their mental health from a decolonial and feminist perspective.”
So, how did Camilla hear of THINK? “I saw a job posting, and I went onto THINK’s online platforms to learn more. There I found research done by Dr. Suzanne Staples on gender mainstreaming – specifically about working with men’s mental health, which is something that resonated with me,” she says. “I also saw videos that showed the open-minded and positive spirits of my now fellow THINKers, and this drew me in. For me it’s very important that we can share joys with our coworkers on a daily basis, as our work is such a big proportion of our lives.”
Camilla’s first month at THINK flew by. “I needed to get to know more about the work THINK does, as well as many of the THINKers – my new colleagues,” she says. “Simultaneously the projects I will be managing and supporting Kristina in, was handed over to me.”
A week and a half into Camilla’s first month, Kristina asked her if she was ready to go to her first conference and find potential new partnerships. Camilla admits she felt quite challenged, as this was a tech conference and a subject she didn’t know much about. “But I ended up studying our tech and AI programs that whole afternoon, and I had some fruitful conversations at the conference the following day,” she says. “This is a good example of how dynamic it is to work in THINK, and how every day is never the same – which I really appreciate. It also says a lot about Kristina’s wonderful leadership style; she leads with trust and support, which is very wholesome.”
Something else Camilla loves about the THINK work environment, is being seen as a whole individual – not just a worker having to simply fulfill one specific job role. “Everyone has been very warm and welcoming, letting me know that I can reach out any time for questions I may have,” says Camilla – adding that she can already see that there are career evolvement and advancement possibilities within THINK. “Knowing that the effort you put into the work will be rewarded on a personal note is great.”
Talking about growth, Camilla says she is very much into personal growth and development, but find it equally motivating to be part of a team growing an organisation. “I look forward to securing funding for all the new exciting partnership we are working on, and bringing more people to the Copenhagen office – starting with the intern program I’m currently working on, which I’m sure will grow into something stellar and become a great opportunity for students in the beginning of their career.”
Camilla is also really looking forward to coming to South Africa at the beginning of next year to spend some quality time with everyone she’s only so far met via Teams. “I can’t wait to see our programs first hand, in order to get an even better understanding of the work that I’m telling people about,” she says.
“Lastly, I am very excited to see the network growing into new countries, both in southern and eastern Africa, and being a part of making that happen – taking the strength of THINK to empower more people in their health journey, on the basis of the strong record of our research and clinical work.”
If Camilla could give any tips to her younger self, she would say: follow your passions instead of strategic, sound choices! “Whatever energises you will lead you to the right path – meeting the right people and finding opportunities along the way. I truly think that there’s something so beautiful about letting ourselves trust our gut feelings and leaning into that,” she says – and encourages youth to make their voices heard. “If you have courage to speak loudly about your passions, people are more than willing to help you and they will think of you when relevant opportunities cross their paths,” she says. “I’ve been raised to be strong and independent, but really believe that we truly get furthest when we build together.”
When Camilla is not immersed in her work, she loves being active and moving her body – from something as calm as yin yoga, to dancing, martial arts, and outdoor activities such as hiking and (wind) surfing. “Working with health, I know how important it is to have body and mind active and connected. But we should all find ways in which we find this enjoyable, exercising shouldn’t be dreadful. For me, the most important thing is the community and the people you do it with.”